Archaeologists discovered Greek statues of Aphrodite and Dionysus in Anatolia (Turkey)
Archaeologists from Kütahya Dumlupınar University have discovered statues representing Aphrodite and Dionysus in the ancient city of Aizanoi.
Aizanoi was an Ancient Greek city in western Anatolia, located in what is now Çavdarhisar, near Kütahya in present-day Turkey.
Aizanoi has been occupied since the Bronze Age, emerging in the Hellenistic period as an important political and economic centre. In 133 BC, the city was bequeathed to Rome, becoming part of the Roman province of Phrygia Pacatiana.
Surviving remains from the period include a well-preserved Temple of Zeus, a theatre-stadium complex, and macellum inscribed with the Price Edict of Diocletian.
Excavations were conducted as part of the Penkalas project, where archaeologists found two heads depicting Aphrodite, an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, lust, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation, and Dionysus, the god of the grape-harvest, wine, of fertility, orchards and fruit, vegetation, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.
Previous excavations have uncovered fragments of a statue depicting Hygieia, a goddess of health, cleanliness, and hygiene, which combined with the latest discovery sheds new light on polytheistic worship in Roman times, and suggests the presence of an ancient sculpture workshop in the region.
Archaeologists told GEO: “We know that Aphrodite and Dionysus existed under different names in Roman times. These findings are important to us because they show that the polytheistic culture of ancient Greece existed for a long time without losing its importance in the Roman era. The findings suggest that there may be a sculpture workshop in the region.”
28 October 1940, the date when Greeks said “OXI” (NO!)
Ohi Day or Oxi Day is celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on 28 October each year. OXI Day commemorates the rejection by Greek Dictator Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 October 1940, the Hellenic counterattack against the invading Italian forces at the mountains of Pindus during the Greco-Italian War, and the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation.
This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador to Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, shortly after 03:00 am on 28 October 1940, who had just come from a party in the Italian embassy in Athens, demanded Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified “strategic locations” or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι (No!). However, his actual reply was, “Alors, c’est la guerre!” (Then it is war!).
In response to Metaxas’s refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 am—the beginning of Greece’s participation in World War II (see Greco-Italian War and the Battle of Greece).
On the morning of 28 October, the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting ‘ohi’. From 1942, it was celebrated as Ohi Day, first mostly among the members of the resistance and after the war by all the Greeks.
During the war, 28 October was commemorated yearly in Greece and Cyprus and Greek communities around the world, and after World War II it became a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus. The events of 1940 are commemorated every year with military and student parades. On every anniversary, most public buildings and residences are decorated with national flags. Schools and all places of work are closed.
Saint Fanourios is undoubtedly a holy, important youthful figure, who stands out in his own way among the other Saints of Christianity, because he is not only honored on a single date, but the faith of Christians often makes the famous fanouropita.
Saint Fanourios, who lived in Roman times, then clashed peacefully with the world of idolatry, because the Christian spirit of the godman did not allow him to deny his unquestionably virtuous principles. Thus, the 12 martyrdoms that the Saint suffered, are for us a strong motivation for endurance and adherence to the moral values of Christianity, to emerge victorious from an unceasing struggle against the infidelity and injustice of our time. The Saint taught us with his real sacrifice, that of course we are not now fighting with Roman rulers and awful Agarines, but we have to face the most cleverly set traps of materialism and atheism, which are massively trying to sweep the ranks of Christians.
Saint Fanourios also taught us that the crown of virtuous life is not easily won, but only with constant trials, with courage, patience and endurance. Therefore, as true fighters of the faith, let us imitate the exemplary and impeccable life of the Saint, so that one day we too may be honored to honor the Christian name we bear, just as he deservedly honored it.
Generally about his life
There is nothing specific about the origin and life of Agios Fanourios, because all the elements of his life were lost in times of anomaly.
The only information we have about the Saint is the finding of his icon, around 1500 AD, according to the synaxaries, or according to others around 1355-1369 AD. Others claim that the icon of the Saint was found in Rhodes and others in Cyprus.
Finding the image
We go back to the past, when the Agarines ruled Rhodes and decided to rebuild the city walls, which they barbarically destroyed and demolished in the war a few years ago.
So they began to send workers out of the southern part of the fortress and to collect stones from the half-ruined houses of the inhabitants, in order to rebuild the new and strong walls of their city. Suddenly in the ruins they found a beautiful, but half-ruined church on one side and in there they found a pile of icons, which from time immemorial did not distinguish the figures of the Saints as well as the letters they had on them.
Only one amazing image stood out from all, which time did not touch and represented a young man dressed as a soldier. The Metropolitan of Rhodes Nilos immediately ran on the spot and clearly read the name of the Saint, whose name was Fanourios. His Eminence, moved by the revelation of the Saint, noticed that he was dressed like a Roman soldier, holding a cross in his left hand and a lighted candle in his right. The hagiographer still painted around the image in twelve representations the martyrdoms, which the Saint suffered and which, obviously narrate his whole life.
These performances are as follows:
1. The saint appears standing in front of his Roman interrogator and seems to be apologizing with courage and defending his Christian faith.
2. The soldiers here intervene and hit Fanourios with stones on the head and in the mouth, in order to force him to bow down and deny the Lord.
3. The soldiers are now enraged by Fanouri’s insistence, so they threw him down and now beat him savagely with sticks and bats, to lower his prosperous morale.
4. Fanourios is in prison and there he is tortured in an abominable way. He looks completely naked and the soldiers around him tear his flesh with sharp iron tools. The Saint endures untouched his terrible martyrdom.
5. Fanourios is back in prison and prays to God to help him endure the torture to the end.
6. The Saint appears again before the Roman investigator to apologize for his attitude. From the restless expression on his face it seems that neither the tortures he suffered, nor the future threats of the tyrant shook his faith and so he fearlessly awaits even worse martyrdoms.
7. The executioners of Fanouri with fury and cruelty burn with naked candles his naked body, which thus shows his insurmountable sacrifice for the Crucified. The Saint wins again with his indomitable will and courage in the Lord.
8. Here his savage torturers also use mechanical means to reach the peak of his martyrdom. They have tied the Saint to a mango and this, as it rotates, breaks his bones. He suffers untouched but on his beautiful face is painted expressionless joy, because he suffers for the sake of the Lord.
9. Fanourios is thrown into a pit, to be north of wild beasts and his executioners from above are watching to see his end. But the beasts have literally been domesticated by the grace of God, so they surround him quietly like lambs and enjoy his company wonderfully.
10. His executioners are not satisfied with the previous result and so they take him out of the pit and crush him with a big stone, sure now that they will finish him. But they are not succeeding this time either.
11. The scene shows the Saint in front of an altar, where his executioners urge him to sacrifice, putting burning coals in his palms. Fanourios comes out of this test victorious and this is distinguished by a devil, who has the form of a dragon, who flies in the air and cries for his failure.
12. The last scene is the end of his martyrdom, with Fanourios thrown on a large stove standing on a stool and surrounded by flames and smoke. The Saint seems to pray unceasingly to God, without expressing any grievance or groaning and so, rigid and unyielding, he flew to heaven, full of satisfaction for all the sufferings he suffered for the sake of the Lord.
Elements from finding the image
Seeing the icon of Agios Fanourios found in Rhodes, we extract many remarkable facts which are the following:
1. If we read the name of the Saint in the picture, we immediately conclude that it is of Greek origin.
2. We also conclude that his parents were very pious, to give him such a Christian name.
3. This young man would still be highly educated to become a military man.
4. We also estimate that the martyrdoms of Agios Fanourios took place in the second and third centuries, when the persecutions of the Christians were at their peak.
5. Fanourios clearly proves that he was a Great Martyr from the many and terrible martyrdoms he suffered.
6. We also make sure that he was honored by the faithful Christians from the years of his martyrdom in Christian temples, in order to find such a temple in Rhodes as well.
7. From the depiction of the Saint it seems that Fanourios martyred young people age.
Miracles of the Saint
Saint Fanourios performed several miracles to the faithful who invoke his name and one of them is the following:
At a time in its historical life, Crete was enslaved by the Latins (1204 – 1669 AD), who had their own Archbishop and therefore tried in every way to lure the inhabitants of the island to Catholicism (Papism).
Thus the Latins took as an oppressive measure against Orthodoxy not to allow ordination of priests in Crete, so the Cretans were forced to go to the island of Tsirigos (Kythira) to be ordained priests by an Orthodox High Priest, who resided there.
At some point, three deacons started from Crete for Tsirigos and after being ordained priests there, they returned unhappy to their long-suffering island from slavery. Unfortunately, Agarian pirates captured them at sea, transported them to Rhodes, where they sold them to three different Agarian masters.
The position of the three priests was deplorable and yet a sweet anticipation came to sweeten their bitter complaint. He learned that in Rhodes Agios Fanourios performed miracles and in him they based their hopes and they always prayed and invoked each one of them individually, to save them from the cruel captivity of the meager Agarines.
So he asked each priest, without consulting each other, from his master, to give him permission to go to church to worship the icon of St. Fanourios. All three of them easily took leave, reverently worshiped the image of the Saint, wetting the earth with their tears, kneeling as if praying and with all the power of their souls begging Saint Fanourios to intercede to save them from the hands of the Agarines.
After the priests left, relieved of their pain, Saint Fanourios appeared at night to all three of their masters and ordered them to free their slave priests, otherwise he would punish them severely. However, the Agarin rulers considered the intervention of the Saint as a kind of magic, so they chained their slaves and began to torture them in a worse way.
The next night, however, Agios Fanourios intervened more effectively, freed the three priests from their shackles and promised them that he would free them from the Agarines the next day. He appeared again to the Agarines and threatened them this time, that if they did not release the priests in the morning, he would treat them harshly.
The next morning the Agarines felt the punishment, because they all lost their light and their bodies became paralyzed. So they were then forced to consult their relatives to discuss the evil that befell them. All the lords decided to call the three priests, maybe they could help them. The only answer the priests gave was that they would pray to their God and He would decide.
On the third night, Saint Fanourios appeared again to the Agarines and announced to them that if the three lords did not send in writing to his temple their consent for the release of the priests, they would not regain their health. The Agarins then, willingly or unwillingly, wrote the letter requested by Agios Fanourios and unequivocally declared that they were granting their freedom to the three priests. These statements were submitted to the holy temple of the Saint.
Even before the delegation of the Agarines returned from the temple, the blind and paralyzed unbelievers were completely healed by the will of the Saint. The rich Agarnes gave to the three priests all the expenses of their trip and before they left they took refuge in the church, and after thanking the Saint for their release, they faithfully copied the icon of Agios Fanourios and took it to Crete, where they honored it every year with eulogies and liturgies.
The pie of Agios Fanourios
The great honor that Christians have in Agios Fanourios, became the reason for the creation of the traditional custom of the Saint’s pie or better of the fanouropita.
The pie is usually small and round and is made from pure flour, sugar, cinnamon, oil and after all these ingredients are mixed, kneaded, put in a round form and the pie is baked at a moderate temperature in the oven.
The pie is made to reveal to a Saint a lost object, a job if one is inactive, a lost cause, the health of a sick person and the like.
The Greek genocide (Greek: Γενοκτονία των Ελλήνων, Genoktonia ton Ellinon), including the Pontic genocide, was the systematic killing of the ChristianOttoman Greek population of Anatolia which was carried out during World War I and its aftermath (1914–1922) on the basis of their religion and ethnicity. It was instigated by the government of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish national movement against the indigenous Greek population of the Empire and included massacres, forced conversion to Islam, forced deportations involving death marches[where?], expulsions, summary execution, and the destruction of Eastern Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments. Several hundred thousand Ottoman Greeks died during this period. Most of the refugees and survivors fled to Greece (adding over a quarter to the prior population of Greece). Some, especially those in Eastern provinces, took refuge in the neighbouring Russian Empire.
By late 1922, most of the Greeks of Asia Minor had either fled or had been killed. Those remaining were transferred to Greece under the terms of the later 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey, which formalized the exodus and barred the return of the refugees. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Armenians, and some scholars and organizations have recognized these events as part of the same genocidal policy.
The question of the number of victims of persecution during the decade that lasted until the Asia Minor Catastrophe concerns scholars and activists seeking the recognition of the events as genocide and is related to the question of the multitude of Greeks living in Asia Minor at the beginning of World War II. In the case of Pontus, the scholar and refugee Georgios Valavanis himself established in 1925 the number of 353 thousand victims, which was then reproduced by the activists of the Pontian genocide, as a result of which it was officially accepted and repeated in all relevant commemorative ceremonies. Political scientist Rudolf Rammel estimates that it cost the lives of approximately 326,000-382,000 Greeks. The number of 350,000 dead in the Pontus during the period of the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1923, is repeated by the genocide scholars Samuel Totten and Paul Bartrop. As the journalist Tassos Costopoulos proved, however, this number of Valavanis came with the arbitrary addition of 50,000 to the number of 303,238 displaced mentioned in a 1922 pamphlet, who were presented not as displaced but as exterminated. Costopoulos estimates that about 100-150,000 were exterminated in the period 1912-1924 in Pontos.
On February 24, 1994, the Greek Parliament unanimously voted to declare May 19 a “Day of Remembrance for the Greek Genocide in Asia Minor,” the day Mustafa Kemal landed in Samsun. Also in 1998, Parliament unanimously voted to declare “September 14th as a day of national remembrance of the genocide of the Greeks of Asia Minor by the Turkish State.”
In December 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) officially recognized the Greek genocide, along with the Assyrian genocide, and issued the following resolution:
"CONSIDERING that the denial of a genocide is universally recognized as the final stage of genocide, ensuring impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and well-prepared the ground for future genocides,
CONSIDERING that the Ottoman genocide against the minority populations during and after the First World War is usually presented as genocide against the Armenians only, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities,
DECIDES that it is the belief of the International Union of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against the Christian minorities of the empire, between 1914 and 1923, constituted genocide against the Armenians, Assyrians, Pontians and Greeks.
"THE UNION DECIDES to ask the Turkish Government to recognize the genocides against these populations, to formally apologize, and to take appropriate and important steps towards restoration (non-repetition)."
Commemorative plaque of the Pontian Brotherhood of South Australia for the exterminated Pontians in Adelaide, Australia.
The Pontian genocide is officially recognized as such by four states, Greece by law of 1994 (N. 2193/1994), Sweden by a vote in the Swedish parliament on March 11, 2010, Armenia by March 2015, along with the genocide of the Assyrians and the Netherlands, together with the genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians, on April 9, 2015.
Turkey does not acknowledge that there was genocide and attributes the deaths to war losses, plague and disease and does not admit that there was genocide. Most modern Turks are partially or completely ignorant of these events. However, Turkish historians have publicly described the events as genocide.
A new book and album of modern greek music is out now in a new way with the classical guitar. The info-scanner.com , found more about Mark Hussey, his book and album.
Tell us a few words about you. How and when you became a classical guitarist?
I’m a UK born British Cypriot with a father from the UK and mother from Cyprus. I’ve been living in the UK since 1997. I gained, PhD in virology from Oxford University (2006) but subsequently turned to the guitar for an alternative career. Guitar music has always had a special place in my heart and I wanted to craft a career if possible doing something I love despite little or no formal training on guitar. With the music I was learning and playing, I started to land classical and solo guitar paid performances. Before I knew it I was being branded a classical guitarist. I would rather like to think of myself as an all round guitarist as I incorporate a lot of jazz, flamenco and improvisation into my music.
When did you release your book of sheet music and your album: Spirit of the Greeks?
The album and the book were released 1st May this year. To me it was important to release this book now because it marks almost 100 years from the birth of modern Greek music .
How did you get inspired?
The idea for Spirit of the Greeks – Greek music for classical guitar, was born out of me trying to pay tribute to the music I had gown up around in Cyprus. Being a guitarist I wanted to try to express some of these songs as solo pieces and began to craft my arrangements. After writing them down to sheet music, I thought how nice it would be to share them. I sought all the relevant permissions, and was licensed to include them in a publication. I feel rather lucky to have been able to get permission as it was quite a challenge with more obstacles thrown in the way that I could have imagined. Still, now that it is complete, I’m delighted to be able to share this sheet music for other guitar players to enjoy as well the album for the general public.
What do you believe about the Greek music? Do you believe the older repertoire is not heard anymore by the people?
I think Greek music has been largely overlooked outside Greece and Cyprus. The language is of course a barrier, but playing this music as instrumental guitar pieces may open it up to a new audience, especially to classical and Spanish guitar enthusiasts. Greek music deserves a wider audience and I wanted to play my part. In the west we celebrate the jazz , rock and pop icons but Greek music has its own genius composers, performers and all in a completely unique style.
I am sure people still enjoy the older music but it would be great to see a strong revival. I wasn’t born when most of this music was written, and so nostalgia does not really play a part in my judgement that the older repertoire is richer in many ways. It was real, honest and in a time of fewer distractions, the messages within were more important and more powerful than today. Of course, the recordings were largely unaltered and musicians really had to play well.
Do you think that there is not enough promotion for this music ? and how do you think this music should be promoted?
Through writing this book, I discovered that it is very hard for todays performers revive old Greek music through covering it with their own versions. Yes many people do record it, but I’m not sure how ‘legal’ their recording are. The copyright restrictions were an enormous surprise, and in my view of no benefit to promoting the original artists. For example, my aim was to share this music such that the original artists could be rediscovered promoting Greek music and Greek culture. This required a difficult process of seeking the copyright owners, obtaining permission, payment and agree to numerous terms imposed before I could include them in the book, even for songs that are now nearly 100 years old. I believe, covering an artists music should be seen as a positive event, in the interest of the genre, artist and the estate of the artist. It is also of cultural importance. It is strange to think that one could in theory legally perform a song of say Mikis Theodorakis, but when writing it down for others to try their hand at, you could be taken to court for damages. I’m not sure of sharing ‘how to play’ songs, does any damage. I feel strongly that it instead adds to the writers legacy. Perhaps a change to the copyright laws may be the best way helping Greek music expand its reach beyond its boarders.
Which is your favorite piece from the album: Spirit of the Greeks?
My favourite piece on the album could well be ‘Pou Nai Tha Chronia’, not least because I have so much respect for George Dalaras as singer and performer, but also because it is such a powerful, detailed song. It was what I can only describe as a beautiful challenge to play on a single guitar, fitting in as many of these details as possible. Most important however, was getting the melody right. As I was recording it felt like Dalaras was singing it in my ear. It is my sincere hope that he enjoys my rendition supported by flamenco style palmas.
The following pieces are included in both book and album, arranged for and played on classical guitar.
Xekina Mia Psaropoula
Pou Nai Tha Chronia
Bouzouki Mou Diplochordo
To Zeibekiko Tis Evdokias
Siko Horepse Sirtaki
Never on Sunday
Mark can be heard demonstrating these arrangements on the album ‘Spirit of the Greeks’ also available on Amazon, Spotify and Apple (see below)